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St. David's Centre
St. David's Centre on The Hayes
Hayes Apartments on the upper levels
Location Cardiff, Wales
Opening date 24 March 1982[1](phase 1)
22 October 2009 (phase 2)
Developer St. David's Partnership (Capital Shopping Centres (50%) and Land Securities Group (50%))[2]
Owner St. David's Partnership [3]
Architect Benoy (phase 2 only)
No. of stores and services 203[2][3]
No. of anchor tenants 5 (Boots, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Bhs[2] and John Lewis[3])
Total retail floor area 129,561 m2 (1,394,580 sq ft)[4]
Parking 2,550[5]
No. of floors 9 (2 shopping levels, 1 restaurant seating level and 6 car park levels)
This article refers to the shopping centre in Cardiff. For the shopping centre of the same name in Swansea, see St. David's Shopping Centre (Swansea)

The St. David's Centre (also known as St. David's Shopping Centre.[6]) is one of the principal shopping centres in the city centre of Cardiff, capital of Wales. Located in The Hayes area of the southern city centre. Due to the extension of St Davids 2 in 2009, St David's is now the tenth largest shopping centre in the United Kingdom.

The construction of the extension cost a total of £675m and brought Cardiff within the top five shopping destinations in the United Kingdom. The centre consists of original first phase, St David's Centre, adjoining St. David's Hall and the second phase, given the development name of St David's 2. The second phase of the shopping centre, described as "mammoth", opened on 22 October 2009, when the first 58 of its 88 stores opened for trade.[7]

In 2008-9, the annual footfall of the centre was 27 million, and is expected to rise to 33 million in 2009-10.[8]

St. David's Centre is patroled by three paramedics on bicycles between every Friday and Sunday in order to respond rapidly to medical emergencies.[9]


The first phase

Original Logo

St. David's Centre was open to the public in January 1981, although it did not officially open until 24 March 1982. The centre has entrances on Queen Street and Working Street. It previously also had an entrance on Hill's Street, but this is now the entrance to the new St. David's 2 shopping centre. It is also joined internally with Queens Arcade. There are 3 thoroughfares within the centre; Town Wall, Cathedral Walk and St. David's Way.[10]

The centre attracted an average footfall of 39,000,000 per annum[2] and has a core catchment of 2.4 million people. The 12 million tourists that visit the city annually help generate over £7.5 billion in retail spending. There are seventy-five individual shops and stores in the first centre that cater for a broad demographic. The centre is anchored by Boots, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and Bhs[2]. It is strategically situated close to central car parking and benefits from being close to public transport services. The centre is also adjacent to St. David's Hall.

The second phase (St. David's 2)

The logo of St. David's 2, during the construction phase

St. David's Centre, and much of the southern end of Cardiff city centre's shopping area, was developed as part of the St David's 2 development.

The second phase (St. David's 2) was a £675m extension of the centre, in which a large part of Cardiff's south city centre demolished, this included Oxford Arcade, St. David's Link, which included Cardiff Central Library, the NCP Tredegar Street multi-storey car park, Wales National Ice Rink, much of Bridge Street, which included the NCP Bridge Street multi-storey car park and Toys "R" Us (who relocated to Cardiff International Sports Village). The new development consists of 3 main buildings in total; a new Central Library building, which is built on part of the Marriott Hotel car park, the John Lewis department store, which is built on the former Wales National Ice Rink, and the main shopping area, which is built on the form Oxford Arcade, St. David's Link and western side of Bridge Street. It also includes apartments, called Hayes Apartments, above the main shopping centre.

Construction of phase 2
February 2007
April 2008
April 2009

The second phase is made up of different sections, they are:

  • St. David's Walk, A newer section opened in 2009, leading to the extension of Debenhams and the Grand Arcade.
  • St. David's Way, The original part of the St. David's Centre, consisting of most flagship stores in the complex, including Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and Bhs.
  • The Hayes, with designer fashion stores including Hugo Boss and All Saints.
  • Hayes Arcade with jewellery and accessory boutiques.
  • Grand Arcade, connecting St. David's Walk in the original centre to John Lewis. This central section includes top name stores like H&M, Apple Store and John Lewis.
  • Eastside, providing restaurants and cafes such as Nando's, Pizza Express and the first Welsh Pret A Manger.

St. David's 2 has added an extra 967,500 sq ft (89,880 m2) of retail space[3] to the city centre, in addition to the 260,000 sq ft (24,000 m2) John Lewis department store,[3] 9 other large stores, and a further 90 smaller shops in a two-tiered shopping mall have been built.[3] It has also created 3,000 car parking spaces, new bars and restaurants plus the new 55,000 sq ft (5,100 m2) Central Library and 4,500 permanent jobs.[11] The development will include 2 new arcades; Grand Arcade and Hayes Arcade.[12] The John Lewis department store opened four weeks before the main shopping area was opened.

In May 2009 negotiations were concluded or underway on all but 23 of the approximately 140 cafes and stores in the refurbished Town Wall South and the second phase extension. The project, that it set to make Cardiff one of the top five shopping destinations in the United Kingdom, topped out on 27 January 2009.[13] Many of the retailers in the second phase of the centre are new to Cardiff, and to Wales, in particular John Lewis. St David's Centre is now one of the busiest shopping centres in the European Union, exceeding Birmingham's Bull Ring.


Cardiff Central Library

The new Central Library, which opened on 14 March 2009

The new Central Library opened on 14 March 2009.[14] The former permanent Central Library was located a few hundred yards north of the present building and was knocked down to make way for the St. David's 2 development. The new library has six floors totalling and area of 55,000ft² and 90,000 books.

Hayes Apartments

Hayes Apartments, as part of St. David's 2 development, will provide 304 apartments above the shopping centre. Seven high-rise towers built above the new shopping centre will house a mixture of studio flats and 1 and 2 bedroom apartments.[15]

On 21 November 2008, it was reported that the scheme had been hit by the ongoing economic recession, and despite initial interest, only eight of the 304 apartments had been sold.[16] The St Davids Partnership announced that all seven of the high rise tower blocks would be externally finished, but only one of them would be fitted-out - leaving the remaining six blocks as empty shells until the property market had recovered.[16]

See also


  1. ^ Cardiff Timeline
  2. ^ a b c d e "St. David's Shopping Centre". Capital Shopping Centres. Retrieved 2007-12-12.  
  3. ^ a b c d e f "St. David's 2". Capital Shopping Centres. Retrieved 2007-12-12.  
  4. ^ Liberty International, 2008, and CSC. St. David's Centre has an area of 39,670 sq m; the St. David's 2 extension, has an area of 89,891 sq m. The figure here represents the combined area.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "St. David's Shopping Centre". Capital Shopping Centres. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Shoppers numbers set to soar in Cardiff". Media Wales Ltd. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  9. ^ "Success could lead to more pedalling paramedics". Media Wales Ltd. Retrieved 2009-12-16.  
  10. ^ "St. David's Shopping Centre". Capital Shopping Centres. Retrieved 2009-01-10.  
  11. ^ "St Davids 2 Cardiff". Land Securities. Retrieved 2008-04-09.  
  12. ^ "St. David's 2 matches city blueprint". Capital Shopping Centres. Retrieved 2008-11-17.  
  13. ^ "Milestone for new shopping centre". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-01-27.  
  14. ^ "First look at new 'green' library". BBC. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  15. ^ "The Apartments". St David’s Partnership. Retrieved 2008-10-16.  
  16. ^ a b "Skyscraper blocks to remain empty at St Davids 2". Walesonline. Retrieved 2008-11-21.  

External links

Coordinates: 51°28′51″N 3°10′32″W / 51.48083°N 3.17556°W / 51.48083; -3.17556


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